Earlier this week, I met with some Christian friends who have lived and worked in China for many years. What they shared with me was chilling and sobering. (They are well-connected and not simply airing personal opinions.)
First, the crackdown against Christian believers in the country (not to mention the crackdown against Muslims and others, which we did not discuss in detail), is getting increasingly severe.
Just a few years ago, there were real signs of change. Persecution was lessening, and liberties were increasing. But not today.
There is a systematic attempt to purge the gospel from the nation.
Even the national, Three-Self churches, in which there were some real, gospel-preaching pastors, are now virtually bereft of such leaders. And it is true that the Communist Party is rewriting the Bible to make it suitable for its purposes. This, then, would be the Bible used in these government-run churches. Talk about an utterly blasphemous act.
As for the underground churches, the crackdown against them is intensifying.
My friends have Chinese colleagues whose family members have received life sentences because of their faith.